Patients queued for four hours to thank a retiring GP who colleagues said would phone patients at 10pm to tell them their test results.
Dr Richard Hughes, 60, retired from Hanway Medical Practice in Portsmouth last month. Patients of the practice organised a special afternoon so they could thank him for his services on 10 May – with some queuing for four hours to meet him.
After doing his training at the surgery, Dr Hughes stayed on for a further 32 years and was senior partner for the last ten.
Dr Hughes said: ‘I couldn’t have asked for a better team. The key to success is to have a brilliant team around you – that’s it in a nutshell. I made the decision to retire for practical reasons, not least getting older, and I would not be able to keep up the pace. I recognised my limitations.’
Practice manager at the surgery Denise Fenton said Dr Hughes was something to aspire to.
‘As a partner he was something to aspire to. He used to even call patients at 10pm at night to tell them their test results. It’s not sustainable anymore for GPs to deliver a service like this as there is too much for them to do. It’s not because they don’t want to, but they have to do lots of box ticking.
‘He knew most patients by name, made them feel valued and treated them as individuals. Nothing was too much trouble. His retirement is a massive loss to the practice and he will be missed by his colleagues, staff and patients alike.’
Dr Hughes said that he now plans to develop his hobbies and see more of his family.